Saturday, October 30, 2010

How High Are the Stakes? Building Better Conflict and Dilemma into Your Book

Dilemma is the problem your book solves, whether it is how to plant a bonsai garden or who killed the victim in a murder mystery. Dilemma, also known as the dramatic arc, forms the path of your reader’s journey through your book. Without strong dilemma, there’s no story.

One of my students, Chris, was writing the story of her grandmother’s life, but she wasn’t happy

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Acceptance and Rejection--Balance in the Creative Life

One spring, I was wallowing in the discontent of rejection letters. I’d sent my first novel to agent after agent, publisher after publisher. No one wanted it. This new novel crossed genres—it was written from the point of view of a young woman but it was meant for adult readers.

I believed in the book and wanted to see it in the hands of potential readers. But my disappointment was so great that